The family, on Lisa's suggestion, visits a cyber café named The Java Server. However, when Homer looks at his bank account online, he is cyber-robbed by Snake, which saddens Marge because they were saving the money for their family vacation. When Ned Flanders catches Homer burgling his house to recover the lost money, he says that he got more for less by attending the Chuck Garbedian Mega-Savings Seminar. After considering Ned's advice, Homer steals Ned's tickets (and his Jesus fish fridge magnet), and the Simpsons attend the seminar, in which Chuck explains many money-saving strategies. Later, in order to save money, the family goes to a 33¢ store where Homer eats a can of plankton which had expired two years before and contains red tide poisoning, as warned by “the Mexican Council of Food.” Then, when they snag mega-saver tickets from the Flanders family at the airport, they decide to go to Tokyo.
The Simpsons arrive in Japan and, although Lisa wants to explore Japanese culture, Homer prompts the family to eat at an American-themed restaurant named Americatown. Afterwards, Homer and Bart encounters Woody Allen, who is in Japan filming a commercial for rice crackers. Later on, Homer and Bart attend a sumo match. While there, Homer asks a sumo wrestler who is throwing salt for some of his pretzel, only for the wrestler to steal it. He and Bart knock him out, and the Emperor of Japan Akihito, comes to congratulate Homer. However, Homer thinks he is another wrestler and throws him into a dumpster of worn mawashi. As a result, he and Bart are put in jail, where they learn Japanese and explore its culture until Marge pays the bail. Consequently, the only money the family has left is a one-million yen bill, which Lisa loses in the wind after Homer makes an origami crane from it (prompting him to say "D'oh!" in Japanese).
Now broke, the family goes to the US Embassy, where the Ambassador suggests that they get jobs. They eventually find work in a fish-gutting factory in Osaka, but are dissatisfied, except for Bart, who believes he has found his purpose in life. Then, they notice a TV game show called The Happy Smile Super Challenge Family Wish Show. They decide to appear on the show, telling the game's Japanese host Wink that what they wish for is plane tickets back to Springfield, but to get them they have to go through physical torture (particularly Homer). Eventually, the tickets are theirs, but they have to pick them up from a rickety bridge over an active volcano. Lisa is able to get the tickets, but the bridge breaks and the whole family falls into the volcano, which is actually only orangeade with lots of wasabi added. Homer scolds the Japanese for their lack of ethics, making them feel ashamed of themselves. The program's sadistic policy does not change however, as they then show an arachnophobic Canadian couple being showered with scorpions. As the Simpsons leave Japan, their plane is confronted by four giant monsters – Godzilla, Mothra, Gamera and Rodan – but Lisa goes to sleep and the monsters let the plane fly off on the journey back to Springfield.
A scene from Battling Seizure Robots is played throughout the end credits.